With the much-anticipated final of the Hero Super Cup set to be played on Tuesday, the month-long excitement and anticipation that accompanied the Super Cup come to a close. The finalists Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC will face each other for the final time at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode.
Both Odisha and Bengaluru have cleared the group stages without any losses and seem to be equally matched. This is a crucial match for Odisha as winning it would bag Odisha FC its first trophy at the national level. On the other hand, Bengaluru is smarting from the narrow loss it was served during the ISL finals. They will try their utmost to reverse the result of the previous tournament.
Odisha got off to a decent start in this season of the Super Cup. They concluded their first match against East Bengal in a draw. In their next match, they handily subdued I-league team Aizawl FC. A similar fate was meted out to ISL giants Hyderabad FC in their final match of the group stage. In the semi-finals, the Juggernauts vanquished ISL’s NorthEast United FC in a closely contested match and paved the road to the finals.
Nandha Kumar and Diego Mauricio are in good form and have been consistent and accurate goal-scorers for Odisha in this season of the Super Cup. They are eager to get this win under their belt and their players are performing at a level where they can attain it. They have been snubbed of the opportunity to attain a trophy at the national level before and they do not want to let this golden opportunity go.
Bengaluru FC’s Form
In the group stage Bengaluru FC despite not incurring a loss only have one win to their name. In the group stage, Bengaluru ended their first match with a draw against opponents Sreenidi Deccan. Their next match with them overcoming I-League toppers Roundglass Punjab. Their third match ended with a draw against fellow ISL team Kerala Blasters FC. They however finished at the top of the table and were able to progress to the semi-finals where they defeated Jamshedpur FC to move on to the finals.
Bengaluru FC, after an arduous journey, reached the finals of the Indian Super League only for the trophy to slip away from their grasp as they narrowly lost to ATK Mohun Bagan in the penalties. They do not want to end the Super Cup on a similar note and are fired up to win the upcoming match.
Bengaluru FC’s Javi Hernadez was injured during their semi-final against Jamshedpur and may not be able to join the Blues in the final. Otherwise, they have a team of fit players that can participate in the finals.
Odisha does not face any suspensions or injuries. The team is expected to participate in the finals with all players fit for playing.
Head to Head
Throughout history, Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC have faced each other 12 times – primarily in the ISL. Of these 12 encounters Bengaluru has won 7 times, while Odisha FC has won 4 times. One match ended in a draw. Their previous match ended with Bengaluru winning 3-1.
Bengaluru FC: Sunil Chhetri(C), Gurpreet Singh(GK), Sandesh Jhingan, Bruno Ramires, Roshan Singh, Namgyal Bhutia, Suresh Singh, Pablo Perez, Rohit Kumar, Udanta Singh, Roy Krishna.
Odisha FC: Carlos Delgado(C), Amrinder Singh(GK), Narender Gahlot, Sahil Panwar, Osama Malik, , Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Moirangthem Thoiba, Princeton Rebello, Nandha Kumar, Víctor Rodríguez, Diego Mauricio,
When we look at the two teams’ previous interactions we can see that the Juggernauts have been bested by the Blues more times than they could return the favour. But this time things might just play out differently. Nandha Kumar and Diego Mauricio have been at the top of their form and are improving constantly meanwhile Bengaluru has had a rocky journey in this iteration of the Super Cup. Their midfield suffered a serious blow when Javi Hernandez was injured in the semi-final. The midfield will suffer from the loss of an experienced and skilled midfielder. This would make it a close match that would end by going to the penalty shootout in favour of Odisha FC.
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